Mugabe Aides Said to Use Violence to Get Amnesty
10 Apr 09 | NYT
President Robert Mugabe’s top lieutenants are trying to force the political opposition into granting them amnesty for their past crimes by abducting, detaining and torturing opposition officials and activists, according to senior members of Mr. Mugabe’s party.
Mr. Mugabe’s generals and politicians have organized campaigns of terror for decades to keep him and his party in power. But now that the opposition has a place in the nation’s new government, these strongmen worry that they are suddenly vulnerable to prosecution, especially for crimes committed during last year’s election campaign as the world watched.
“Their faces were immediately pasted on the wall for everyone to see that they were behind the killing, the violence, the torture and intimidation,” said a senior official in Mr. Mugabe’s party, ZANU-PF, who, like others in the party, spoke anonymously because he was describing its criminal history.
To protect themselves, some of Mr. Mugabe’s lieutenants are trying to implicate opposition officials in a supposed plot to overthrow the president, hoping to use it as leverage in any amnesty talks or to press the opposition into quitting the government altogether, ruling party officials said. >>>